'Tis April Fools, a day for pranks, fake news and overwhelming paranoia that everything you hear and read will be a lie.
Fortunately, there’s an upside: lists such as these, which serve to remind us that screaming “April Fools!” after scarring someone indefinitely barely counts as entertainment, especially compared to, say, the amusing amalgam of comedy and music.
Though this crossover is hardly new, over the last few years we've witnessed the music/comedy artform evolve exponentially. And thanks to the Internet these efforts are more accessible than ever due to these videos' inherently viral nature. After all, Lonely Island's "Lazy Sunday" put YouTube on the map.
So rather than fake headlines about Justin Bieber — which could never compete with real headlines about Justin Bieber (seriously, did you read the latest thing about his monkey?!?) — we're using April Fools to celebrate what's actually funny, from Aimee Mann cleaning houses on "Portlandia" and Blake Shelton clucking folk on "Jimmy Fallon" to the music/comedy mashups of Sarah Silverman, Lonely Island and 'Weird' Al. So enjoy or we'll saran wrap your toilet seat.
You'd never seen a president slow jam the news until Jimmy Fallon and The Roots teamed up, and thanks to the late-night band and their host, we've been given everything from anchorman-in-chief to an all-star "Call Me Maybe" performed on children's instruments. Almost all of Fallon's breakout moments have been music related, from his Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen impressions to his latest viral video with The Chickeneers, a dream band of Nick Offerman, Blake Shelton, Chris Tartaro and Jimmy himself. (Just remember, Jimmy, The Roots come with you to The Tonight Show. It's all we want for Christmas — like that cover you guys sang.)
Thanks to "F*@#ing Matt Damon," Sarah Silverman's flair for setting comedy to music has earned her the international recognition she deserves. Now, Silverman's latest project is teaming up with fellow comics (and music-comedy masher-uppers) Reggie Watts, Michael Cera and Tim & Eric for <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/JashNetwork" target="_blank">JASH</a>, a YouTube channel that will see feature short sketches and musical parodies.
The Lonely Island
“Dick in a box,” “like a boss,” “I’m on a boat” and other Lonely Island catchphrases have ingrained themselves into our pop culture conciousness. But it doesn't stop at Lonely Island members Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer: stars like Lady Gaga and Julian Casablancas have joined the group to spread integral messages like "It's not gay if it's in a three-way," which we’re absolutely sure is now on a poster hanging in a college dorm somewhere. Beside a YOLO banner.
Fans of WFMU’s "The Best Show" are already familiar with the weekly collaboration between Tom Scharpling and Superchunk’s Jon Wurster, but over the past few months Scharpling’s video direction alongside Rob Hatch-Miller and Puloma Basu has earned millions of views. Whether through music videos for Aimee Mann or the acclaimed "The Postal Service Auditions," Scharpling, Hatch-Miller and Basu are fighting the good fight, proving serious musicians don’t always have to be serious.
Portlandia (Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen)
Now finished its third season, IFC’s "Portlandia" — which stars Wild Flag's Brownstein (formerly of Sleater Kinney) and "Saturday Night Live" mainstay Armisen (formerly of punk-rockers Trenchmouth) — has managed to find a place in our cold, cynical hipster hearts. But they're not just mocking indie culture, they also claim the best musician cameos on television, including Aimee Mann, Sarah McLachlan, Eddie Vedder and members of Dinosaur Jr., The Decemberists, The Shins and Modest Mouse.
Julie Klausner and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
What’s better than Julie Klausner’s Ted Leo-composed "How Was Your Week" theme song? A chance to hear it in person, thanks to Klausner’s always sold-out live shows at the Bellhouse in New York. On top of that (and a stirring rendition of "Let Me Be Your Star"), the two have joined forces alongside podcast producer Chris Spooner for several Vulture videos over the past year. And no, their trip to the Bassett Hound Festival does not get old.
Comedy Bang Bang and Reggie Watts
With its second season currently filming, Scott Aukerman’s "Comedy Bang Bang" (the TV version of the weekly podcast) is finding new ways to interpret comedic talk shows and sketch — which explains why comedian/musician/improviser/beatboxer Reggie Watts (see also: Jash) is holding the fort as the series' house act. That said, he brings his own magic to the show: thanks to "Reggie Makes Music" fans can see him collaborate with guests like Elizabeth Banks, Casey Wilson or Amy Poehler, whose wig in said episode is actually a star on its own.
'Weird' Al Yankovic
We may have grown up and lost our<em> Bad Hair Day </em>CDs, but that doesn't mean 'Weird' Al has slunk into obscurity — far from it. After last year’s Lady Gaga tribute, "Perform This Way" (and the near lawsuit that ensued in its wake), Yankovic reminded us that his skills have only strengthened, and his relevance is modern's pop culture's rare constant. Obviously — our little cousins are finally getting old enough to realize how wonderful parodies are. (And we’re finally old enough to appreciate them again.)
Donald Glover and Childish Gambino
The recent Childish Gambino album wasn't exactly a critical favourite, but Glover's live performances, which see him combine a stand-up set with his actual music, are much loved. Besides, even if his records aren't everyone's cup of tea, there's always his raps with Abed on "Community."
Marc Maron has now established himself as both a comedian and a podcaster, and if you’ve been following "WTF with Marc Maron," you've noticed his recent affinity for speaking to musicians. Having interviewed the likes of Jack White, J Mascis, and Andrew W.K. over the past year, it’ll be interesting to see how this comedian's love of music transitions into his upcoming IFC show, "Maron," debuting May 3.